Syncretism in Art and Public Art in Tucson

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Designed by Rebecca Thompson and completed in 2007, the La Puerta is located in Curtis Park (2110 West Curtis Road). It is part of the public art collection of Pima County, Arizona. The La Puerta was funded by the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation of Pima County to a commission amounting to $19,548. The piece of art is made up of rammed earth, bronze and measures 14? height x 8? width x 3.5? depth (Thompson).

Selection of the artist

As per regulations laid down by the Public Art and Community Design Committee, the artists’ selection procedure starts with a ‘call to artists’ published by the Public Arts Coordinator for Pima County. The call is made regionally and nationally and artists are requested to send their resume, statement of interest, and their previous work. The Public Arts Committee then proceed to make a selection of the artists to be awarded the contract based (Pima County Public Arts Portfolio).

The form and content of La Puerta

The doorway is made of large rammed earth (Portland cement and local soil) which are sustainable products. The top of the structure is glazed by two bronze key panels which are made by 200 high school art students from Flowing Wells Jr. High. The students used clay but the artist counted the keys on panels measuring 5’× 18’ and cast them in bronze.

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For each key, the student wrote a personal story and the significance attached. The stories can be found at the Flowing Wells School Library compiled and bound in handcrafted book (Arts Foundation for Tucson and southern Arizona).

Public response

The sustainable materials used indicate connection with the earth. The art is inspired by the connection each person has within the community and the impact of that connection. La Puerta honors the entire Flowing Wells Community and motivates imagination for those who visit the area (Thompson). As a result of this positive representation of the community and their integral part in creating the piece, t was positively accepted by the Pima Community, as part and symbol of their story and culture.

How the art benefits the community

Art plays a crucial role in the concept that it is a living entity. For the La Puerta, the involvement of the community and the usage of local resources is what gives the piece live….....

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Works cited

abercrombie and kent. West Africa: kingdoms, slaves & voodoo - an a&k hosted journey (2018). N.D. Web.
Arts Foundation for Tucson and southern Arizona, La Puerta. N.D. web.

Johnson, Tim. The often-misunderstood religion is playing a key role as the Caribbean country recovers from the earthquake that devastated it just five years ago. BBC, 2015. Web.

Olmos, Margarite Fernández, and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert. Creole religions of the Caribbean: An introduction from Vodou and Santería to Obeah and Espiritismo. NYU Press, 2011. Print.

Pima County Public Arts Portfolio, Board of Supervisors Memoandum, 2014. Web.

St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mission Statement, 2018. Web.

Thompson, Rebecca, la Puerta. N.D. Web

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